What Are MBA Admission Qualifications You Should Know?

MBA Admission qualifications vary from school to school. Although, there are requirements that can’t change regardless of where or when you are applying. One of such requirements is the need to submit a Bachelor’s degree during application.

The MBA certificate was first issued 114 years ago to four students at Dartmouth College. Now, hundreds of thousands of people are applying for an MBA in many institutions worldwide. Although the certificate has numbered several holders and candidates worldwide, it has not stopped the MBA from gaining International recognition from prestigious and ivy league schools over the years.

It isn’t easy to submit an MBA application without any work experience. If you’re applying for an MBA, then you should be determined enough to create an improvement in your career. An MBA certification is a big push in your academic, professional, and personal life. 

You don’t need to search long before you observe the uniqueness of the program. Apart from its impact on your career, the professional experience you carry through your 2-3 year study can amount to over six years of labor market experience. Nevertheless, on-field experience is a significant component of the program itself.

  1. MBA Admission qualifications: What are the requirements for an MBA?
  2. MBA Application Essay
  3. What is the Required Work Experience for MBA Admission?
  4. Financial Requirements: How much does it cost to do an MBA?
  5. MBA Admission qualifications: Letter of Recommendation
  6. What can I gain from an MBA degree? 
  7. Conclusion

MBA Admission qualifications: What are the requirements for an MBA?

Academic requirements

The most basic information about an MBA application requirement is the importance of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In some cases, when you don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet, the institution will confirm if you are about to complete one. 

However, you should pay attention to the specialization of the Bachelor’s degree required by the proposed MBA awarding institution. Some institutions want a bachelor’s degree closely related to business, statistics, and finance for specific MBA fields; others want a course related to business. Some institutions, however, don’t mind the fields of study of the Bachelor’s degree.

In contrast, the general belief is that a closely related bachelor’s degree will strengthen your MBA application. For example, an applicant with a bachelor’s in accounting is considered a better candidate than an applicant with a Bachelor’s in Biology.

They use this same context when selecting applicants for various fields of the MBA program. For example, they assume a Mathematics or Statistics graduate to be better fit for an MBA in data analysis than other unrelated courses.

What is the minimum GPA for MBA Placement?

Minimum GPA requirements for an MBA usually vary based on the specific objectives of various institutions. Most times, On a scale of 4.0, MBA applicants may require a GPA of 3.0; on a scale of 5.0, they would need a GPA of 4.0. However, you should note that the higher your GPA, the stronger your application is, and the higher your chances of admission. Although, those with lower GPAs can supplement with standardized tests, solid professional references, and strong professional experience. 

Standardized tests recognized for MBA.

Most times, admission committees in charge of MBA applications request standardized test scores from applicants to ascertain the capacity to handle certain subjects. Applicants who want to apply for an MBA should consider writing GMAT, GREs, or both. Also, TOEFL or IELTS is a strong advantage for institutions in English-speaking countries.


GRE is widely used in almost all European and American countries for most graduate students. The test contains assessments in analytical writing, verbal and quantitative reasoning. GRE overall score is between 130-170 (minimum and maximum) for verbal reasoning, 130-170 (minimum and maximum) for quantitative reasoning, and 0-6 for analytical writing.

The overall score of GRE tests is 340. However, the minimum GRE test requirements for various institutions of learning vary. The requirement range of most institutions falls between 310-340. Unlike GMAT, they use GRE to assess general graduate readiness and not business or management specific.


In this standardized test, applicants must test basic arithmetic, geometry, algebra, grammar, and data analysis. These aspects are distributed into analytical writing, quantitative, verbal, and integrated reasoning. 

The minimum and maximum GMAT scores are 200 and 800, respectively. 590-800 GMAT score is generally considered a good/great score for MBA admission. Sometimes, however, some institutions accept test scores that can be relatively lower.


IELTS, CAMBRIDGE, or TOEFL is often listed as a requirement for most international students who do not use English as a means of communication during their undergraduate students. On some occasions, some schools put the candidate through a few months of language proficiency before starting the regular lecture classes.

If you’re submitting IELTS, CAMBRIDGE ADVANCED, or TOEFL as evidence of English proficiency for an MBA application, you should pay attention to the required scores. The average score accepted for English proficiency in business schools are:

TOEFL – IBT: 89 – 94 / paper-based: 577 – 587

IELTS – 6.0 or 6.5

Cambridge Advanced – 142 to 210

Which Standardized test will increase my chances?

Knowing whether GRE or GMAT will make your application stronger is difficult for most applicants. However, we suggest you properly study the MBA program and the school before applying.

GMAT is a specific exam assessing the readiness of its candidates for business schools and management courses. GRE, on the other hand, is a graduate readiness exam for anyone. You can infer that GMAT is more specific. But, this doesn’t decide the preference of institutions.

Some schools prefer one to the other, while some request the two exams. On occasions like this, the recommendation is that you take the two exams and calculate which one makes you a stronger candidate.

Is there a GRE or GMAT waiver for MBA applicants?

Some MBA Admission qualifications requirements for specific schools occasionally exclude standardized tests like the GRE or GMAT, especially for Online programs. 

Research conducted by B schools highlighted that few online MBA applicants submit GRE or GMAT. Most online applicants receive standardized test waivers automatically. The selection Committees often grant waivers for applicants with an average of 5 years of experience, excellent undergraduate results, and quantitative reasoning ability shown in courses offered. You should bear in mind that the metric for calculating work experience differs across different institutions. 

You require a minimum of 4 months to prepare for GMAT or GREs. Some experts even recommend 12 months of preparation for the standardized tests. Regardless of the time of preparation or the funds needed, we suggest that you go for a choice that would make you perform excellently well.

MBA Application Essay

Together with test scores of over 330/750 for either GRE or GMAT, you may need the help of a consultant to help you write a perfect essay for the top 15 universities offering an MBA degree.

Writing application essays is time-consuming and hectic for many applicants. However, you want to give your all to writing your application essay because most examining committees use the applicant’s essay to filter out and reduce the number of applications. So, if you have a poorly written essay, you might not make it through the first phase of selection. If you’re not sure of your strengths when writing essays, we suggest you employ a consultant to train you or help you construct one to avoid an embarrassing disqualification.

What is the Required Work Experience for MBA Admission

Generally, the average work experience for an MBA application is between 4-5years. There is no general rule of thumb involved in submitting work experience for an MBA application. However, every applicant should know that it is more about what you have done within those years than how long you have stayed on the job. It might surprise you that an applicant with four years of quality experience can have the edge over another applicant with seven years of empty/weak expertise.

Work Experience is a delicate line, too much work experience means the applicant falls in an older age bracket which may make the chances of admission slimmer. In other cases, the younger age groups might not be considered, especially for the executive MBA designed for business leaders and captains of industries.

Also, depending on how you’ve researched your institution of choice, some schools would accept a part-time job, internship, or volunteering as a work experience.

Is there a work experience waiver for MBA applicants?

It is rare for any institution to waive work experience for an MBA admission. Only new graduates with multiple degrees or those who gathered work experience while in school are considered in most cases, although most schools often claim to offer admissions to fresh graduates.

Less than 1% of MBA admissions are for fresh graduates. New graduates are not considered at all in some cases. Applying for an MBA as a fresh graduate can be as tricky as squeezing a USB cord through a needle hole.

Financial Requirements: How much does it cost to do an MBA?

The average cost for an MBA can exceed 60000$ for the two-year program depending on the institution. In some cases, MBA students pay as high as 130000$ for tuition and other miscellaneous expenses. The top business schools in the US usually charge higher than other business schools. Indian and some European business schools usually charge relatively less than 30000$.

These charges may or may not include application fees or the compulsory language proficiency course fees. Stanford Business School charges about 275$ in application fees while some other business schools charge around 100$ to 250$.

Every penny spent on knowledge is worth it; They say. An MBA degree is reasonably expensive. Business schools don’t only impart knowledge or put their students through rigorous field training, but it serves as a network for potential managers, marketers, and leaders of business. Most times, top companies and industries recruit from such schools.

MBA Admission qualifications: Letter of Recommendation

Just like many other MBA Admission qualifications, a letter of recommendation is crucial.

Writing a recommendation letter for any graduate program is tasking. Before writing a recommendation letter, You must choose your recommender carefully. Try as much as possible to make more than half of your recommendations a professional one. Don’t Select friends or family members who have not played a professional role in your career path.

The recommendation letter must highlight goals that are similar to the ones mentioned in the personal statement. When the contents of your recommendation become ambiguous and unrelated to your personal statement, the chances are higher that you will be disqualified. 

What can I gain from an MBA degree? 

A survey done by Bloomberg business review measured the return on investment of an MBA degree. They recorded that a candidate who left a 50000$ job to pursue an MBA recorded an 80% salary increase.

In a Princeton review, the projected salary of someone with an MBA degree was subtracted from a business school graduate for the top 50 US schools to measure the return on investment of each certificate. Graduates who obtain an MBA from Stanford have a 325% ROI on their tuition, and MBA graduates from Harvard have a 320% ROI.

Studying for an MBA degree can be financially draining. However, the long-term profit and network it gives can be massive.


An MBA degree will surely give you an edge in any career path you choose. However, you need to properly assess the relevant MBA field that complements your undergraduate degree and promises a better career push and income.

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